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Gov't gets Cuban doctors to bolster health sector

Monday, August 13, 2012 | 1:07 PM    

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Health, Fenton Ferguson says that Cuba will increase its assistance to Jamaica’s health sector by providing the services of a nephrologist, a paediatric oncologist, a neonatologist and a pathologist.

These specialists are in addition to six dentists already in the island, however, Ferguson did not say when the new Cuban doctors would begin activities here.

According to Ferguson it became necessary to look at ways to respond to new and emerging health threats and trends and it was based on these demands that a decision was made to source specialist skills for certain areas of the health sector.

“I want to stress that the personnel we are recruiting have skills that are not readily available to us locally. We will not be seeking any human resource for positions that we can fill with our local cadre of professionals, “ the health minister insisted.

“It takes two to four years to graduate a specialist in the health sector and we continue to lose our highly skilled workers to the more developed countries which are more competitive in terms of salary and benefits,” he argued.

 Ferguson said that in his recent trip to Cuba where he led a delegation to discuss matters relating to existing and additional areas of cooperation, an Agency Agreement in support of the Bio-Medical Services Arrangement now being implemented was signed.

“This makes the third agreement for the health sector that my Administration has signed with the Government of Cuba since I took office in January,” said Ferguson. “The other agreements were the renewal of the Technical Cooperation Agreement, and the renewal of the Agreement for the Jamaica/Cuba Ophthalmology Centre”.

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